The life of an independent hotelier can be a hectic one. With so many things to manage it’s not difficult to be overwhelmed and a cluttered Inbox can quickly add to that frustration.
Email has become the backbone of how we communicate and is essential for maintaining a hotel, but the sheer volume of emails hoteliers receive can be daunting. Sorting, reading and replying can quickly kill anyone’s productivity, so what can be done to help reduce the time lost on emails and more time on the property?
Email filters allow users to dictate what happens to emails when they hit the inbox. They can be deleted, saved, forwarded and organized. Pretty much anything you want to do with an email, a filter can do for you. Creating a series of folders within your email for each subject category or importance level is the first step to a clean and manageable inbox. The 2nd is telling the filters what to look for and where to send it. Using specific email addresses, domains and keywords & phrases, these emails can be directed automatically as they arrive. Newsletters and Industry publications are important, but not time sensitive, so they should skip the inbox and be stored for later. More crucial messages like invoices from the OTAs, reviews, guest inquiries or reservation requests can be left in the inbox so they are the first things the hotelier sees when they sign on. The goal is to minimize the clutter and reduce the time it takes to find the crucial information necessary to make informed decisions.
For hoteliers with a larger support staff, many tasks will be delegated to others. This can help take much of the repetitive tasks off of the hotelier so they can focus on bigger picture planning and development of the hotel. To assist with this, emails from certain domains or contacts can be archived and forwarded to another associate within the hotel. If for instance an assistant is monitoring and responding to online reviews, messages from Yelp or TripAdvisor can be sent directly to them without any additional work on the hotelier.
This may seem like an obvious option, but many people just delete messages rather than unsubscribing from unwanted messages. It’s faster than going through the sometimes tedious process of removing yourself from the mailing list, but doing so once will save more time every day. In instances where completely unsubscribing isn’t an option (including sites like LinkedIn or TripAdvisor) there are usually correspondence preferences that can be tailored to fit the individual’s needs. LinkedIn can be a very powerful networking tool for many, but when left unchecked, it can produce a mountain of unwanted emails. By default many sites will send you every notification or publication they offer unless told otherwise. It may take some digging through their settings, but it can cut down on a lot of time spent deleting unwanted emails. If the options don’t exist a simple filter can be used to send things directly to the trash.
Without proper utilization of these features, hoteliers can easily get buried in their email and spend less time improving the business. If you haven’t already started using these features and want to start, here are some guides Gmail, Outlook and Apple Mail.